What Are Webinars? As the name implies, webinars are seminars which are web-based. They are also referred to as online workshops or online seminars. Webinars have many uses such as building a brand, generating sales leads, training groups of people, press conferences, corporate announcements and focus groups. Webinars are similar to conference based seminar; the only difference is that the participants listen to the audio through telephones and view the presentation by their web browser. The main feature of webinar is the interactive element which is the ability to discuss, give and receive information. It is different to “webcast” which doesn’t allow interaction between the audience and presenter. Numerous companies have started offering webinar as an exchange to the traditional face-to-face seminars. Companies are acquiring the advantages that webinars give. These vary from flexibility to cost efficiency. Participants will not have to travel just to attend a seminar; they can learn on the comfort of their homes and their most convenient times. Other benefits are cost reduction, ability to reach much larger audience, lets future playback and can be recorded digitally. Companies can save a lot from traveling budget and other expenses relative to trainings. A computer, an internet access and a phone line are just the items needed to attend a webinar. Materials like handouts can be printed and are downloadable and can be maintained as reference file. Webinars also help marketers reach larger audience immediately. The geographically scattered colleagues may be able to work and collaborate as a team. Announcements can be posted to all the employees no matter where they are. Attendees and presenters can collaborate and interact through Q&A, document sharing and live polls; thus attendees can easily participate and learn from the activity. The usual model for a webinar may be to offer a 5 week course and during which diverse lecture and module is uploaded on a specific day, for example, Monday. Registrants will have 1 week to take in the information. If you are not into webinar hosting, you can just attend or let your employees participate on one. There are those with reasonable price and some are offered free. There are those which can be viewed and archived on demand. The archived webinars are made available for the viewing public; this can be accessed at Archived Webinars Page. Looking for a webinar to attend will take a little research. If you’re always receiving invitations to online seminars, wait for the provider’s broadcast of an event. Also keep your eyes on upcoming webinars on trade magazines. Check websites for any webinars that have appealing topics since technology and universities are holding them. Before registering on a webinar, do your homework first. Research the credentials of the presenter and the costs accompanying it. Even if the online seminar is free, try to analyze if it will be worthy of your and your subordinate’s time. At first glance, webinars may seem less effective and meeting a person is better. But in various ways, the discussion group is a more effective method of communication. The discussion boards allow exchange of knowledge and information wherein the speaker also participate. The discussions are maintained online and anyone can review it anytime; this will let information propagate in many ways physical meeting cannot. Webinars are fastly becoming the latest choice in web conferencing. Through its accessibility and low cost, companies can hold interactive meeting. Take advantage of the internet communication through attending or having your own web based seminars. You can also let your employees attend them for their development. Just do your research first and let your webinars help you with your success.
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